Wielding 'stick of hegemony' won't work, Chinese media warns US on trade

A woman works on socks that will be exported to the US at a factory in Anhui, China, on Aug 7, 2018.
A woman works on socks that will be exported to the US at a factory in Anhui, China, on Aug 7, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Certain people who want to wield the "stick of hegemony" on China with tariffs for their own personal ends will only end up hurting themselves, major Chinese state newspapers said on Wednesday (Aug 8) in a unified message against the United States.

China and the United States are locked in an increasingly bitter trade war, with Washington set to begin collecting 25 per cent tariffs on another US$16 billion (S$21.8 billion) in Chinese goods on Aug 23, the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions.

The latest commentary from state media took a softer line after resorting to personal attacks against Trump earlier in the week, saying China could get through the storm but not directly mentioning the US president.

All China's main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled "declaration", on their front pages on Wednesday.

The Chinese people had weathered hardship and crisis in the past through their resilience and were progressing towards prosperity, the commentary said.

The world's economy was interconnected and nobody could isolate themselves, it said.

"Certain people go against the tide for their own private ends and go against morality; the barrier of tariffs wantonly rise, and the stick of hegemony is raised all around," it said.

 

"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems," the commentary said.

China has already retaliated against the United States with its own tariffs and proposed others if Washington goes ahead with carrying out all its threats.